Preservation of the Integrity of Electronic Records

Volume 2 of the series The Archivist’s Library pp 9-22

The Concept of Electronic Record

  • Luciana Duranti

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In coming to terms with what an electronic record is the first objective is to establish what a record is in principle and how it can be recognized in an electronic environment. The method chosen to reach this objective consists in identifying a set of general concepts on the nature of records and analyzing them in the context of the electronic environment. The general concepts are taken from diplomatics and archival science and then harmonized in a cohesive whole. The analysis of those concepts generates hypotheses that constitute the theoretical basis for establishing, among other things, whether the traditional definition of record holds true in the electronic environments.1 It should be noted at the outset that records is a synonym for the term archival documents, which is the primary term used in diplomatics and in Latin languages for the entity in question.2